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Thinking of buying your first home? Congratulations! You’re making a very smart decision. Rents right now are unusually high, and in many cases, you could make a mortgage payment on your current house or apartment that would be cheaper than the rent check you scratch out each month (or the one that is automatically debited from your account). No matter what a stockbroker might try to tell you, residential real estate is still a good investment, and it forms the basis for a higher net worth as you age and have to start thinking about retirement.
This article is different from any one I’ve written before. It’s even different from articles where I’ve outlined the questions you should ask your agent. Why?
Older people staying put means housing shortage and rising prices A recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has concluded that the housing recession of 2007-10 has drastically lengthened the amount of time that home owners expect to stay in their current home. From 1985 until 2008, the length of time a seller had lived in their house held fairly steady: the median current ownership of homes listed for sale was between six and seven years.
For many people, especially in the Millennial Generation, the Internet is the go-to reference for the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) revolution. There are, however, some subjects that are bigger than the Internet can handle, and real estate is one of them. Someone who relies only on the web can get incorrect, inaccurate – – and even illegal-in-Maryland – advice and innocently make their lives a complicated mess. So, here’s a rundown of common Internet sources of information, and the cautions you might want to implement if you use them.
A midterm report When you’re a realtor, everyone asks that question when we meet. So, here’s a mid-year report on our local markets, using data from our Multiple List for May (the last month fully reported as of the paper’s deadline).
There have been several positive reports on the real estate market to hit the headlines in the last 30 days, showing marked improvement in price and inventory in the national statistics. One news item even calculated that in 2016 the U.S. will surpass the number of existing housing units sold in the previous record-holding year of 2006, before the financial crisis.
One of the barriers that home buyers in our region are facing right now is that we don’t have enough houses for sale. We’ve had a shortage of houses in our selling inventory for several years, and the Maryland Association of Realtors’ Housing Statistics for January 2016 show that nearly every jurisdiction in the state has fewer properties in “inventory” this year than at the same time last year. The problem has been growing.